I’m currently employing a method of housecleaning that some of you may be familiar with. I call it “Wow It Looks Gross in Here,” and it has such sub-categories as “Was Someone Eating Something Crumbly in This Room?” and “How Much Water Actually Stayed in the Tub?” and “Oh No Not the Dress-Up Clothes.” Among others I enjoyed thinking up whilst vacuuming after supper tonight.
Inspired by Katie’s comment on the previous blog entry, and the website she suggested, I made a set of index cards with daily chores and weekly chores, and introduced the concept of an allowance to the kids. The oldest were ridiculously enthusiastic. Chore categories so far:
Daily: Wash dishes. Dry and put away dishes. Fold laundry. Set and clear table. Pack lunches.
Weekly: Vaccuum. Clean your room. Clean bathrooms.
Additionally, an all-family daily task: the 10-minute tidy!
The children are already saving their allowance toward a Bone book. And I already felt a weight lifted last night, the feeling that we were all working together toward the collective goal of a liveable house, not one person martyring herself to the domestic cause.
Local food, family, writing, balance.
That’s been this blog’s focus, and I will stick with it. But. The question is a little bit larger than that: What is the tone underlying? Why do this? Looking back, what I most appreciate about these blog entries are the beautiful reminders of day-to-day life, the moments that transcend the ordinary while living within it. On some days, those moments can be hard to find, but even the process of looking for them feels helpful, feels like it’s building something good, and strengthening. And so easily forgotten, too. The photographs, too, have been an unexpectedly happy addition, and pleasurable challenge.
I have bigger blog ambitions, but can’t promise these will come to fruition. Daily themes: Recipes. Parenting ideas/questions. Writing. Doula-ing. Or today’s: housekeeping.
I’ve been reflecting on the public nature of blogging, and wondering whether it’s healthy to spill the ups and downs of my daily life live-to-air, so to speak; or, even more importantly, the lives of four children who have no say in the process. Ethics. Not sure. What do fellow bloggers think about this?
I’ve also figured out that my perpetually cranky mood relates to having too much to do, and not being able to do it to satisfaction; cursed perfectionism. Kevin sent me out for a solo walk yesterday afternoon, and while I was gone he organized the kids to fold laundry. That’s the pic above. I’m beginning to grasp that my future sanity is going to hinge on designating household responsibility, farming out some tasks, scaling back expectations, doing some ruthless prioritizing. Get a slow-cooker? Hire someone to clean weekly? Seriously. I need to entertain some alternatives. Suggestions welcome.
What you can’t see is the cheering section in the front window (Apple-Apple even wrote encouragement on a piece of paper: “Be careful moving the leaves.”). Honestly, the whole family stood at the window, waving and grinning with such excitement, CJ shouting so loudly I could hear him through the double-paned glass–I felt heroic.
Gifts of food …
Two meals from one veggie lasagne.
Chili with cornbread muffins and steamed greens. Enough for leftovers, my lunch today.
Pizza dough made from a Chickadee magazine recipe, using tomato sauce canned with neighbours last fall.
Banana muffins, finally made after days of planning to bake, with friends over to play and to eat the results.
The drier. The drier. The drier! After months of hanging laundry indoors, and despite the fresh spring breeze and welcome sunshine, I have been using our drier. Something had to give on the domestic front, and that is apparently my weakest point.